Back Home Message From the Chairman
John Ratzenberger  

Message from the Chairman for May 26, 1999

For the last eight years I, like many of you, have done whatever was necessary to help raise funds and awareness towards a cure for diabetes. Also, like many of you, I had assumed that the organizations in charge of funding were using those millions of dollars to expedite the cure that we all hoped was just around some not too distant corner.

About 2 1/2 years ago I began to ask questions that I should have addressed at the outset of my concern. That is when I found out that diabetes researchers had no means to communicate with each other beyond yearly national conventions and quarterly publications. That made no sense to me. Wouldn't it be much more cost and time effective if these researchers continually and consistently shared their research failures as well as successes? In this day and age of cyberspace communications I was shocked to learn there was no Internet forum set up to make this possible. That's when I decided to campaign towards making available a web site dedicated to diabetes researchers all over the world, regardless of their funding affiliation, to give them the means to communicate, collaborate, brainstorm, whatever it takes to facilitate a speedier path to a cure for diabetes.

For the last 18 months our team, along with the help of Arthur Anderson Consulting here in L.A., has designed such a site. We took our idea to the heads of the National Institutes of Health, the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes, the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation and the American Diabetes Association. I've flown to national conventions and met with researchers who've told me the idea is long overdue. It's been a long process but I'm pleased to tell you the idea is finally coming to fruition. Although not from the diabetes camp, I am very encouraged by the development.

Nancy Davis, the daughter of Marvin and Barbara Davis, was recently diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and has become an effective fund-raiser for MS. Her quote in a recent newspaper article reflects what I have been expressing for the past two years:

"So many of these doctors were telling me about the great research they were doing, and how they were the only one doing it. Then I'd go to the next person, and they were doing the exact same thing. Duplication research efforts was an obvious waste of time and money. The search for a cure could advance more quickly if researchers from a number of medical centers shared what they were learning about the disease."

If there is a way to eliminate duplicated efforts, repeated errors and wrong turns in medical research, shouldn't we be taking advantage of all that the world wide web has to offer?

Please join me in becoming an advocate promoting the use of the internet for the immediate sharing of research information and findings. Contact the national organizer of the charity you contribute to and tell them you want your dollars spent on pulling the research community together for collaboration. Time and money are being wasted while our children still wait for a cure. When the diabetes funding organizations are ready to launch into cyberspace, tell them already has the rocket warmed up.

Yours Truly,

John Ratzenberger
"Uniting the World to Cure Diabetes"

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Last Updated: Thursday August 29, 2002 21:04:34
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